Arizona’s highways have grown deadlier in the last few years, a reversal of historic declines in roadway fatalities nationwide. An example of the uptick in fatalities is the most recent study by the Arizona Department of Transportation (“ADOT”) which shows that 825 people died in traffic accidents—one every 11 hours. Why the increase?
Crash rates tend to rise and fall with the economic tide. When times are good, more people take leisure trips and buy vehicles. Businesses deliver more goods. It adds up to more vehicles on the road and a greater chance of a crash. In rough times, activity ebbs, bringing crash rates down. If you find more people on the road during your daily commute, be aware that there is a greatest risk of an accident. As an experienced traffic accident lawyer, Thompson Law Firm can help.
Most experts agree that the leading causes of fatal traffic accidents on a highway in Arizona are as follows:
- Impaired driving
- Unused seat belts
- Inattention to driving
Essentially, bad driving habits cause auto accidents to occur. There’s logic to the argument, because four of the five leading contributors to fatal crashes stem from human behavior. Highways and cars don’t kill people; driver error does. The vast majority of Arizona’s fatal crashes happened on straight, flat roads in the daytime or on clear days, according to ADOT statistics.
Distracted driving and fatigue are the greatest contributors to highway accidents. Combining high speed, multiple vehicles, and distraction or fatigue equals an accident—or worse, a fatality. Mobile phones are more prevalent, and smartphones offer more distractions and contribute to accidents as well.
The Arizona Highway Patrol
The Arizona Highway Patrol is responsible for handling highway accidents and will thoroughly investigate an accident to find out its cause. At present, the Arizona Highway Patrol does not track the number of texting-related deaths, but some studies have likened the risks of texting behind the wheel to driving drunk.
In the event the highway patrol finds driving that rises to a criminal level, such as drunk driving, reckless driving causing endangerment, or driving that result in a fatality, they will notify the Maricopa County Attorney’s office of their investigation and assist with the criminal prosecution of the driver. A police report can be requested from the Arizona Department of Public Safety at http://www.azdps.gov/services/Records/.
If you have been in a highway accident, contact Thompson Law Firm in Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced traffic accident lawyer.
We provide personal injury legal services to clients in the greater Phoenix area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe.